Dr. John A. Chandler’s homebred Seaspeak, who won the Bryan Station (gr. IIIT) last fall at Keeneland but was later disqualified for interference in the stretch, will try again to notch his first graded stakes victory in the $200,000 Dallas Turf Cup (gr. IIIT) May 25 at Lone Star Park.
The 1 1/8-mile Turf Cup is the first of three graded stakes on the Lone Star holiday card that is headlined by the $400,000 Lone Star Handicap (gr. III). A field of seven older horses was entered.
Seaspeak has made all seven of his lifetime starts on grass for trainer Ralph Nicks, producing a consistent 2-2-2 record. In the Bryan Station, the son of Mizzen Mast battled with Cowboy Cal through the final furlong under Kent Desormeaux and wound up prevailing by a head. However, after an inquiry, stewards took down the dark bay colt and placed him second for bumping his rival in the drive.
The following month, Seaspeak came close once again to scoring in a graded stakes in the Nov. 9 Commonwealth (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs, but missed by a half-length to Nistle’s Crunch. In his 2009 debut on April 29 in Louisville, Seaspeak scored a sharp allowance victory going 1 1/16 miles on the grass, romping by 4 3/4 lengths under Garrett Gomez.
Seaspeak, who is out of the Gone West mare Somerset West, will be ridden by Julien Leparoux.
Red Rock Creek, an 8-year-old gelding owned and trained by Steve Asmussen, returns to the Turf Cup one year after finishing third to Church Service by 1 1/4 lengths. The Numerous gelding is no stranger to the racetrack, having started 62 times in his career with 21 wins to show for it. The bay closed out his 2008 campaign with a victory in the Governor’s Cup on Remington Park’s main track, but has been off the board in two starts this year. Robby Albarado will ride.
Locally-based 6-year-old gelding Ernesto makes his graded stakes debut for trainer Danny Pish and enters off an optional claiming score at Lone Star on April 11. The son of Royal Academy has won five times over the course.
Pish will also saddle 5-year-old gelding Precious Colony, who won an optional claimer at Retama on Feb. 20.
New Mexico shipper Song of Navarone, a winner of four consecutive races on dirt, including the Sunland Park Handicap last month, was assigned top weight of 117 pounds, but is cross-entered in the Lone Star Handicap and is expected to run in that race.
Also on the Memorial Day card at Lone Star is the Turf Cup’s sister race, the $200,000 Ouija Board Distaff (gr. IIIT) at a mile on the turf.
Jac Mac Stable’s Superior Storm should be in the mix, as the 4-year-old Stormy Atlantic mare turned in a solid runner-up performance in the Apple Blossom (gr. I) on April 4 at Oaklawn Park. Though making the first turf start of her career, Superior Storm brings a stellar 11-3-1 record from 17 starts to the starting gate. Based in Louisiana, she is trained by Richard Jackson. Luis Quinonez will ride.
Also in the Ouija Board is Farnsworth Stables’ Flibberjibit, who has been in good form for Marty Wolfson all season in Florida. Flibberjibit, to be ridden by Leparoux, is 2-1-2 from six starts in 2009, including a third-place finish in the Honey Fox (gr. IIIT) on March 7 at Gulfstream, her graded stakes debut.